Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Week 34/2010 Summary and (nice) 5K race report

I do not know exactly why, but last week marked a turning point in my training.

Maybe because  of the weather or maybe I started to "absorb" the workload, but for the first time I felt I was RUNNING and not crawling.
If I would have to re-conduct everything into figures, I would rely on the "Training Load" plug-in of SportTrack : when I raced on 15/8, the TTSB (Training Stress Balance) was on the severe overtraining territory, becuase I was ramping up the load quite quickly. A couple of days rest, some easy runs plus the smoothing of the training load had brought back the TSS into the right zone... therefore with a decent level of freshness.

MONDAY: 13.5Km all easy effort, but end up at 4'20" average pace
TUESDAY: 14.5Km start easy with 5km progression run at medium effort... felt excellent, another 4'20" average pace with very low bpm
WEDNESDAY: 15.5Km very easy in the wild in Dongguan...struggled because of the heat
THURSDAY: I was in Shanghai (Fengxian District) for work and managed a 11km easy run under a baking sun.   It was a crappy road along the sea with no shadow at all and warm breeze... I was just hoping to getting done

FRIDAY: the return from Shanghai was a classical "airport horror story"

- 15.45 (on thursday): boarding for 16.15 take-off, flight CZ to Shenzhen
- 16.15: announcement that take off will be delayed because a passenger is missing so they must download his checked baggage
- 16.30: thunder and lighting on the horizon
- 16.45: announcement that take off will be delayed because of the thunderstorm (it did not help that on the day before there was an air crash in Heilongjiang because of bad weather... so obviously now they are taking a no-risks approach)
- 20.00: after 4 hours sitting on the plane, we are disembarked and told to wait until further notice. Rain is pouring down in droves.... the airport is a mess because all flight were suspended, so it was a fight just to find an empty seat to camp
- 00.00: boarding again. Rain stopped. We should be #2 at take off, so should be over soon...
- 01.00: we are not moving.... passengers are getting very angry and insulting openly the crew and ground staff.... seems they were is a mismatch between the passengers on board and the boarding list. The crew is totally INCAPABLE to manage such a simple issue...they do recount but with all the passangers going around the plane (!!). they do not sit down to match the boarding lists with the seats, etc... real crap
- 02.30: after the discovery that they did not recount an infant (who was in the passenger list), the arcane is solved and we take off...
- 04.30: land in Shenzhen... total delay 10 hours...
- 05.30: arrive home... I did not sleep a minute and the sun is already rising...
take shower and get ready for work...

So you can expect that I did not feel too much like going for a run with 30C outside...

SATURDAY: 5K race in TaiTam...

Actually some of you might remember that 2 years ago I won this race...but the situation was totally different.. I was really well trained then while now I would have already been happy to take the Master victory and score points in the "Adidas 5K series".

Well, it did went much better then expected...the course is a tough beast with 1.2k flat, 1k on a very hard climb, small loop at the top and then come back...
Praise to the organizer for including also a Junior category, to give some deserved space to the next generation of runners....

(Thanks to Victor Lee for these nice pics !!)

After the flat start (I am #126) we tackle the climb in a large group and little by little we lose pieces until I realize that we are only 2 at the front .
I was labouring VERY HARD, but I could not expect differently since the climb is really steep (many runners slowed down to a walk).
While tackling the downhill I felt already a bit doomed because the hamstring was still tight so I could not risk to dive into the downhill at full speed... I tried to work on the cadence, but I was losing ground and by the bottom I was already 50m behind.
Well... I hoped to be able to make up some ground, but I simply "bombed",...I was totally done and closed the last Km in damage control, scoring 2nd OA and 1st Master.

this is the face of someone hurting badly...
Nice Album from Victor Lee

The disappointment of losing out, was mitigated by 2 facts:

1) In 2008 I won in 18'05" and the 2nd come into 18'25". This time the winning time was also 18'05" and I closed in 18'25" as well... (nice coincidence...).
So I am closer to my 2008 levels much more than I expected.

2) I chatted with the winner, who was a total unknown. I found out that he is a new comer to HK and we both run the Fukuoka Marathon 2007, but his time was 2h25' (!!!!). He was still not fully trained yet, but all the same I felt like losing to someone of real good caliber

Race results are HERE

As last race here, I wore the Polar HR right to see what is my maximum HR right now and calibrate the training...

quite interesting is the comparison with 2 years ago in terms of HR levels during the race.

Average HR: 188 (2008) vs 185 (2010)
% of time HR over 190: 50% (2008) vs 25% (2010).

So in such a short race the training allows the body to push more and sustain a higher level of fatigues without the shut down effect of the central governor. Even if my 2008 training was mainly geared to marathon, I was still more conditioned to work near my maximum.

SUNDAY: rest , which was a mistake because the legs would have needed a slow jog to toss out the soreness due to the downhill... by the end of the day I felt the quadriceps like stones...

So a good week and definitely a step in the right direction. I need now to get more focused on my training and dedicate more time to increase the lactate threshold.